With Makos circling, feeling better about joint surgery

"Fin" tech: Northwell Health orthopedic surgeons get into the swim with the Mako robotic device.
By GREGORY ZELLER //

Just when you thought it was safe to check in for joint-replacement surgeries – actually, it’s a lot safer now, with these Makos swimming around.

Innovation dives deeper at four Northwell Health Long Island hospitals, where the Mako device, a robotic assistant for total joint-replacement procedures, has surfaced. Manufactured by Michigan-based medical-device multinational Stryker, the interactive robotic arm gives human specialists new levels of surgical precision, helping to reduce recovery times and infection risks following knee- and hip-replacement procedures.

Already lending an arm to both total and partial knee replacements at Northwell’s Manhattan-based Lenox Hill Hospital, the tech is now in play at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Lake Success, Long Island Jewish Valley Stream Hospital, North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset and Riverhead’s Peconic Bay Medical Center.

Promising “a more predictable surgical experience,” the Mako robots offer advantages ranging from 3D-modeled, patient-specific pre-operative plans to intra-operative, surgeon-controlled adjustments based on real-time soft-tissue data – a “dynamic joint balancing” system that promotes better outcomes across the board, according to Stryker.

Hip to it: Mako’s imaging and real-time data capabilities help surgeons operate more efficiently.

The state-of-the-art machines are the subject of more than 50 peer-reviewed clinical publications and 350-plus peer-reviewed scientific abstracts, adds the Michigan maker, which counts 100,000-plus global Mako procedures to date.

Seven Northwell Health joint arthroplasty surgeons are now trained to use the Mako devices.

Adding the robots to the Long Island-based orthopedic joint-replacement surgical teams provides immediate patient-centered benefits – less post-op pain and shorter hospital stays chief among them – while furthering Northwell’s standing as “a premier destination for orthopedics,” according to Senior Vice President Nicholas Sgaglione, who trumpets a “substantial expansion of our orthopedic robotics program.”

“This gives our patients the option of minimally invasive joint-replacement surgery performed by our expertly trained surgeons,” added Sgaglione, who chairs Northwell’s orthopedic programs. “This investment in innovation and quality is another example of Northwell Health leading the way.”